Faculty & Adjunct Faculty

Faculty for Fall 2015

KAREN BAKER received an MFA from Southern Methodist University with an emphasis in printmaking, drawing and painting and a BFA from Wayne State University. She is currently Registrar of Loans and Exhibitions at the San Antonio Museum of Art.

SYLVIA BENITEZ is a nationally known installation artist whose work has begun to explore landscape painting within the context of a site-specific agenda. She is the recipient of two Pollock-Krasner awards, an AICA award, and two National Endowment for the Arts Visiting Artist Awards. Benitez has led over 60 community-based mural workshops along the eastern seaboard.

MICHELLE BELTO holds an MA in Fine Arts and Consciousness from John F. Kennedy University and a BA in Education with certifications in Art and Theater. Her work as a performer, educator and visual artist spans more than thirty years, three continents and thirteen publications. She divides her time between her two passions — teaching encaustics and studio art, with an emphasis on hand-made paper and wax.

JEANNE BJORN has been designing and constructing clothing, millinery, and costumes professionally since 1980. Having a degree in Textiles and Fabric Design from the Fashion Institute of Technology, she began designing her own line of Women's Designer Sportswear in 1980 and has been teaching Millinery Design for the past 20 years at various locations around the country. Her designs have been featured in Sportswear International, Women's Wear Daily, and California Apparel News to name a few. Bjorn worked on Broadway productions of The Secret Garden, Phantom of the Opera and Crazy for You, as well as films, including Hook, and the Oscar-awarded The Age of Innocence. She also developed her own line of millinery for wholesale accounts, including Barneys New York.

SABRA BOOTH holds an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art and a BFA from the University of Houston. She is a nationally and internationally exhibiting artist with recent shows in New York and Germany. Booth also was a Fulbright Scholar to Finland and has been awarded grants by Artpace and by the Brooklyn Arts Council.

DILLON BOYD is a designer, fabricator and installer. He graduated from The University of Illinois Carbondale with a degree in Industrial Design. He moved to San Antonio in 2007 and has worked on many projects around town, including The San Antonio River Foundation Museum Reach, helped to design several restaurants as well as enabling many artists realize their work through fabrication and installation. Currently he is building pipe organs and installing custom handmade sound systems.

JUSTIN BOYD, SCULPTURE & INTEGRATED MEDIA DEPARTMENT CHAIR finished his MFA in Integrated Media at The California Institute of the Arts and graduated from the University of Texas in San Antonio with a BFA in Ceramics. Since returning to Texas in 2006, Boyd has shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions, recently including the Visual Art Center, Austin; Art Palace, Houston; UTSA Satellite Space and Blue Star Contemporary Art Center. In addition, Boyd hosts a radio show each week on KRTU.

BRAD BRAUNE received his BA in Architecture from Texas Tech University.  He taught watercolor from 1975-77 as part of the original faculty of the Southwest School of Art. He also teaches watercolor at other local arts institutions and shows locally and nationally.

ADRIANA CORRAL was born in El Paso, Texas and holds an MFA in sculpture from the University of Texas at Austin.  She has received numerous awards including Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture at the International Sculpture Center.  Her work has been shown at Grounds for Sculpture, Bellevue Art Museum, National Museum of Mexican Art, The McNay Art Museum, and David Shelton Gallery, among others.

LIZA COLLINS, born in London, trained as a painter at Northeast London Polytechnic, and later in tapestry at the Royal College of Art. Her tapestries are in many public collections, including the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Contemporary Art Society of London. 

MIGUEL CORTINAS received an MFA from The University of Texas at San Antonio and a BFA from Texas A&M University–Kingsville.  He is an Associate Professor of Art at the University of the Incarnate Word where he teaches drawing, painting, and printmaking.  Miguel’s work is in numerous collections throughout the U.S., including The University of Texas at San Antonio and the AT&T Collection of 20th Century American Art.

MARGARET CRAIG, PRINTMAKING DEPARTMENT CHAIR received an MFA in Printmaking from the University of Texas at San Antonio. She also holds a BS in Biology, BS in Art and an MA with an emphasis in watercolor painting from the University of Wisconsin.  A leader in non-toxic printmaking technology, she has demonstrated at national conferences. Craig was selected to represent the U.S. in China as part of the Sanbao International Printmaking project.

JENNIFER DATCHUK, FACULTY & CERAMIC STUDIO MANAGER graduated from the University of Massachusetts–Dartmouth with an MFA in Artisanry.  While in school she studied abroad at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana, West Africa and at the Sanbao Ceramic Institute in Jingdezhen, China. 

TODD FICHTER earned his BFA in photography from Southwest Missouri State University. Fichter is a full-time graphic designer.  He and his wife Kellie are the primary creative force behind Fishead Design Studio & Microgallery.

MIKE FISHER received his Master of Communication Arts degree from the University of the Incarnate Word and his BA degree at the University of South Carolina. Goofa Man Productions is Fisher’s one-man cartooning, illustration and animation studio; and he has been a cartoonist for the former Starlog magazine, as well as Animation Magazine, Modeler's Resource and other publications.  His independent animation work on shorts like Alpha Worm and Invisible Master, among others, have won several awards at film festivals across the country. 

CASEY GALLOWAY, INTERIM FIBERS PROGRAM COORDINATOR received a BFA in Fibers from the University of North Texas in Denton. A 2007 Kuhlman Foundation scholarship allowed her to travel and research Scandinavian weaving. She is an installation artist as well as a traditional weaver.

ADRIANA GARCIA, an award winning artist, muralist, and scenic designer. She received her BFA From Carnegie Mellon University as well as studied fine arts in Valencia, Spain. Garcia was most recently awarded the winner of the Jose Cuervo Traditional Mural Project. She has presented her work at national conferences, such as 2013 National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies (NACCS), and has created scenic work with el Teatro Campesino in San Juan Bautista California as well as organizations in San Antonio such as the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center and the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center.

NICOLE GEARY earned an MFA in printmaking from the University of South Dakota and a BFA in printmaking from the University of Florida. She has exhibited in juried shows nationally including the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, Spudnik Press Cooperative, and Washington Printmaker’s Gallery. Her prints are included in several collections, both national and international.
RIGOBERTO GONZALEZ was born in Reynosa Tamaulipas, Mexico; he currently resides in Harlingen.  He holds a BFA from The University of Texas at Pan America and an MFA from the New York Academy of Art.  Gonzalez has completed artist residencies at the Roswell Artist-in-Residency Program, Roswell, NM and at Rancho del Cielo through the University of Texas at Brownsville; he has received grants from the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture. His most recent exhibitions include the Southwest School of Art, Dallas Latino Cultural Center, and The Emma S. Barrients Mexican American Cultural Center.

CECILIA CASTRO-HANCOCK, native of Mexico, graduated from the University of Our Lady of the Lake of San Antonio with a Master of Science in Counseling Psychology. She earned a certificate in Ceramics at the Southwest School of Art and has been a ceramic artist for over 25 years. Her work has been in multiple collective and individual exhibits in the USA and Mexico and has been the recipient of several awards. 

JOE HARJO, PHOTOGRAPHY STUDIO MANAGER received his MFA from the University of Texas at San Antonio and a BFA from the University of Central Oklahoma. He exhibits regionally and is in many private collections.

NANCY HENEGAN holds a BFA in Fibers from the University of Wisconsin–River Falls. She previously was the Studio Programs Coordinator at the SSA. Nancy has taught art to adults and children in a variety of settings including SSA’s Mobile Art Program.

LINDSAY HENDRICKS is an Austin, TX based jeweler and educator. She received her BFA in Jewelry Design and Metalsmithing from the University of North Texas and has also studied metalsmithing abroad in Italy though the University of Georgia. She is the founder of a Jewelry Outreach Program for teens in public schools and the Young Metalsmiths Program Director for Creative Side Jewelry Academy. Her work has been featured in multiple jewelry galleries and other juried exhibitions in the United States.
NINA “SAM” HIBLER holds a BS from Stephen F. Austin State University. She was introduced to flame working when creating glass laboratories tools. Her background in science adds a wealth of knowledge to the nuances of glass art.  Hibler is owner of Dream Fire Glass and specializes in the creation of one-of-a kind beads.

MIRA HNATYSHYN received an MFA at the University of Texas at San Antonio and a BS at the University of Maryland. She has exhibited her work locally and nationally. Hnatyshyn’s work appears in New American Paintings, No. 96 West Issue and her work is included in the Saatchi collection in London and other private collections.

GREGORY ALAN JOHNSON, FACULTY & STUDIO MANAGER received his MFA in Printmaking and Drawing at Texas Tech University and his BFA with a concentration in Printmaking at Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi. He also studied art at San Jacinto Junior College before earning a degree in business at Southwest Texas State University.
BLAKE KENNEDY, FACULTY & CERAMIC STUDIO TECHNICIAN graduated from Appalachian State University with a BFA in ceramics and sculpture.  Since graduation he has opened and been operating his own studio in Boone, NC, and last spring served as the clay area Studio Manager at Appalachian State University.  Regional exhibitions include the Catherine Smith Gallery, Boone, NC; Handmade in America, Asheville, NC; and The Greenhill Center for NC Art, Greensboro, NC.

LISA KERPOE is a full-time studio artist and facilitator. She creates paintings on cloth, incorporating water-based media and mixed-media techniques. Her work has been exhibited throughout the United States and internationally. Kerpoe authored two books on surface design techniques, Visual Texture on Fabric (release spring 2012) and Vibrant Color (with Jane Dunnewold).

DIANA KERSEY received her MFA in Ceramics from Washington State University and her BFA from Texas Tech University.  She currently owns and operates Kersey Architectural Ceramics, which specializes in custom architectural ceramics, reproductions and unique ceramic ware. Kersey received the SSA 2010 Award for Teaching.

NADIA KHAN has been a silk painter since the 1980s and continues to study new techniques and explore different styles of painting. Her designs are used for fabrics, scarves and paintings. She teaches at various institutions, including the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft.

JULIA BARBOSA LANDOIS holds a MFA in New Media and Sculpture from the University of Pennsylvania and a BFA from the University of Texas at San Antonio. She is an interdisciplinary artist and educator; she has been an Artpace Master Artist working with Fox Tech High School and is the SSA’s Teen Studio Intensive Program Coordinator.

ELÉONORE LEE is a printmaker and book artist. She began her studies in the UK prior to attending the Art Institute of Chicago on exchange, where she first discovered her love for books and print. After training at the Tamarind Institute, she went to the University of Iowa to pursue an MFA and a Book Arts Certificate. 

JEANNETTE MACDOUGALL is a studio artist and arts consultant.  She has worked as an art educator for over 20 years for the San Antonio Art Institute, San Antonio Children’s Museum and SSA.  MacDougall is a former Resident Director at Moulin a Nef, an arts residency program in Auvillar, France.

SUSIE MONDAY has a Fine Arts degree from Trinity University and works as a consultant, writer, teacher and fabric and exhibit designer.  She produces and sells textile collage paintings, teaches iPad courses for artists, and is co-author The Missing Alphabet, a book on creativity.

JOHN NELSON received a BS degree in Industrial Arts Education from Brigham Young University and has taught in the Bureau of Indian Affairs education system.  He is an active member of the San Antonio Potters Guild, having served several terms on the board of directors.  His art, ceramics and paper casting have been exhibited both nationally and internationally.

LISA NIGRO holds an MFA in Sculpture from the University of Texas at Austin and a BFA in Painting from University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Nigro is an interdisciplinary, multi-media artist working in painting, sculpture, and interactive installation art. She is Adjunct Professor at Houston Community College and teaches in SSA’s Mobile Arts Program.

SARAH PAGONA received her BA from Trinity University with an emphasis in Photography. She is currently a working artist and an art teacher at Ronald Reagan High School in San Antonio.

VICTOR PAGONA, PHOTOGRAPHY DEPARTMENT CHAIR earned his MFA in Photography and Sculpture at the University of South Carolina and his MA in Art History at the University of Wisconsin. His most recent body of work was created using a combination of digital and silver-based media along with other materials.

JILLIAN PALONE, INTERIM METALS DEPARTMENT CHAIR earned her MFA from Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville and received her BFA in Jewelry Design and Metals from Pittsburg State University. She allows a variety of materials such as metal, resin, paper-clay, wood, rubber and paints to inform her creative process. 

KAELA PUENTE is currently an ceramic MFA student at the University of Texas at San Antonio, and has been teaching at UTSA as a graduate instructor.  She received her BFA from the University of the Incarnate Word.  Puente has exhibited her work in exhibitions in Texas, Louisiana, Florida, and most recently Containment: Lidded Forms in North Carolina.

SARAH ROBERTS received her MFA in Jewelry Design and Metalsmithing from Texas Tech University with a secondary emphasis in digital photography.  Her work explores the relationship between art and the human form through the creation of sculpture, photography and video and has been selected for many national exhibitions. She is co-director of Clamp Light Artist Studios and Gallery.

ALEX RUBIO is currently the Mosaic Studio Manager for the Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum. As an arts organizer, he has instructed and coordinated community-based art programs including, Guadalupe Cultural Arts Organization, and San Anto Cultural Arts Organization. As a studio artist, Rubio continues to illustrate and describe past and present life in San Antonio, documenting both cultural and personal experiences in his drawings and paintings. 

DANIEL RIOS RODRIGUEZ, born in Killeen, TX, currently lives and works in San Antonio. He received an MFA in Painting and Printmaking from the Yale School of Art, and a BFA from the University of Illinois in Chicago. Rodriguez has exhibited his work both nationally and internationally including a recent solo exhibition of paintings in New York City in early 2014.

RAMIN SAMANDARI has been a fine art photographer for the past 20 years.  He has owned and operated his studio, Magical Realism, since 1998. His work has been in numerous solo and group exhibitions and is in the permanent collection of San Antonio Museum of Art and University of Texas at San Antonio.

REGINA SANDERS, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, YOUNG ARTIST PROGRAMS, holds Associate Degrees in Fine Arts and Illustration/Fashion from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York.  She is a former fine arts instructor at a magnet school in Houston and coordinates the SSA SMD program.

CHRIS SAUTER, INTERIM DRAWING & PAINTING DEPARTMENT CHAIR earned an MFA from the University of Texas at San Antonio and his BA from the University of the Incarnate Word.  He was a 1999 Artpace Artist-in-Resident, and has exhibited both nationally and internationally. Sauter received the SSA 2011 Award for Teaching.

MELANIE LONG STRYBOS received a BS from Texas Christian University.  She freelances as a decorative painter, surface designer and mosaicist, and worked on the restoration of the Empire Theater.  Strybos is a member of the Society of American Mosaic Artists.

RYAN TAKABA, CERAMICS DEPARTMENT CHAIR holds an MFA in ceramics from Kent State University and a BFA from University of Hawaii.  He previously was the Artist-in-Residence/Studio Manager for the University of Massachusetts – Dartmouth.  Takaba has also taught Kent State University and Northwest Vista College.

KATE TERRELL received her BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University and her MFA from University of Texas at San Antonio. She teaches a variety of art-related subjects including creative dance and lectures about art for adult education. For Terrell, drawing has been a mainstay while making sculptures and paintings throughout her life as an artist.

JESSICA TOLBERT received her MFA in Metal from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her BFA in Metal/Jewelry from Texas State University.  She is a maker and educator and will be the Metals Department 2014-2015 Artist-in-Resident.

KEVIN VAN WINKLE received a BA in Art from the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater and both an MA and MFA in ceramics from the University of Iowa. He has taught ceramics at Odessa College, Midland College and the Shreveport Center for Art and Craft. Kevin has exhibited his work in raku and salt firing in numerous national exhibitions.

SAM VELASQUEZ holds a BFA from University of Texas at San Antonio; he attended Palo Alto College where he discovered his love for painting before transferring to UTSA. He has also been invited to participate in numerous group exhibitions including at Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum and most recently at Texas A&M University-San Antonio’s Educational and Cultural Arts Center.

LARRY WEST owns and operates Dragonfire Hot Glass Studio.  West has a BA in Art Education from Kent State University and has studied at the Pilchuck Glass School.  He is an art teacher for the Northside Independent School District.

BECK WHITEHEAD, PAPER & BOOK ARTS DEPARTMENT CHAIR received an MFA from the University of Texas at San Antonio and a BA from Trinity University.  Whitehead has taught papermaking workshops at Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts, Pyramid Atlantic, Haystack, and at national conferences.